As we put the winter cropping season behind us, it is again time to give some thought to those pests that are happily building a population in stubbles and header trash rows all throughout the southern states. The past four to five years have seen an explosion in mice numbers across almost all of the southern cropping zones. The damage caused by this increased pressure has extended from seeding damage, right through to the lopping of flower heads in advanced Canola crops and rapidly ran in millions of dollars in lost yields.
In the past mice breakouts have been seen as seasonal anomalies and that as fast as numbers increase, they, in turn, suffer population crashes. Unfortunately, more recent information coming from industry groups such as the GRDC would suggest that via modern minimum tillage and stubble retention and continuous cropping the problem of mice infestations is becoming a far more persistent problem. These above cropping developments creating a near perfect environment for mice to colonise and carry significant numbers from one season to the next. Then, with favourable climate conditions populations blowing out and creating the havoc as recorded in recent times. The best studies to date would indicate that key objectives involved in successful mouse control are achieved via constant monitoring of populations. With furthermore, early intervention once hot spots are discovered. It is now commonly recognised that the most favourable baiting outcomes in both economics and control are being achieved when baiting is conducted pre-emptively and at times up to 4 to 6 weeks prior to seeding. There are a number of excellent resources relating to these practices freely available from the GRDC website and growers are encouraged to seek out the latest advice as the industries knowledge base on mice is constantly evolving.
Over the past decade, Imtrade in response to the growing appearance of mice has taken a major investment and leading hand at a number of levels of the supply chain of mouse baits. This is evident in the company’s increased capability to supply both quality raw Zinc phosphide and finished denatured grain bait. The result of these efforts providing growers with a greatly reduced price of treatment and an extremally high-quality product. It is worth noting that Zinc phosphide mice baits are schedule 7 dangerous poison and the manufacture, supply and use of these products should be handled with the highest level of care by the appropriately suited individuals. Imtrade prides itself in providing the “Imtrade Dead mouse” product that is manufactured, packaged and delivered in accordance with the strictest adherence to all regulatory requirements. Each batch is individually tested for not only quality and strength but that the grain itself is sterilised and safely supplied in new packaging, thus creating peace of mind regarding safe handling and risk of crop contamination.